Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lazy Girl Designs: A DCQ Favorite

Lazy Girl Designs: the brainchild of Joan Hawley, owner and creator of many amazing bag patterns, bag accessories, and more.
Meet my all-time favorite bag pattern:
The “Miranda Day Bag” (find it here. )
This stunning bag appears on the pattern cover

Here’s my version:

There’s also a Mini Miranda Bag (find it here).

Click here to find these and other great bag patterns.
Two of my favorite Lazy Girl Ideas:
Bag-E-Bottoms (Custom acrylic bases for your favorite fabric bags~ Six different sizes)… find them here)

And Handy Tabs (little packets of sturdy fabric strips, perfect for fastening custom handles to your beautiful new bag)… Found here.

Lazy Girl Designs…. A DCQ Favorite!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

As promised, we’re celebrating the first day of spring in a big way at Dakota Cabin Quilts!

First things first.

This week’s cabin award is presented to nbeisy.  I just sent you a message, including a code to redeem the award.  You are the lucky recipient of the ‘Simple Things” quilt kit, including pattern, fabric & floss.

Next, as promised, we have a special something for our first 50 shoppers on this long-awaited day.  The steps are simple:

1.) Visit our website: Dakota Cabin Quilts.

2.) Shop from our latest selection of beautiful spring merchandise, including these lovely new spring collections:


3.) Choose at least $50.00 in fine merchandise.  It won’t be hard… we have plenty to pick from Smile

4.) At the time of check-out, you’ll notice a entry box near the bottom of the order form: ENTER COUPON OR GIFT CERTIFICATE NUMBER

5.) Type this word into the box, exactly as shown, all little letters, no spaces: spring

6.) You’ll get 10% off your entire purchase.  Off everything, even the sale merchandise!

7.) Coupon is awarded to the first 50 shoppers…   If the code doesn’t work, that means they’ve all been used.

8.) Have fun!  ~ Happy Spring Wishes from the Dakota Cabin Quilts family

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cabin Award: To Be Announced March 20th, 2011

Good morning.

As I worked on this week’s newsletter, I thought of the perfect cabin award.

We’ve been counting down to the first day of spring, so we’ll have plenty to celebrate.

March 20, 2011, we’ll announce one of the best prizes yet…

That day’s grand prize winner will receive one of our newest quilt kits, “Simple Things” by This & That.  Kit includes all fabric for the top, borders, binding, backing, and Cosmo embroidery floss for the stitchery.  Retail value $65.25 including pattern.   Click here for “Simple Things.”


Plus, visit the blog that Sunday morning, after 9 am Mountain Time.  You’ll find a time and quantity limited coupon code for a special spring surprise…. awarded to the first 50 shoppers who redeem it at our website. 

Circle the date on your calendar.  March 20, 2011.  9am. 

I think you’ll love the surprise.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yikes! Sorry, I'm late!

Hi Everybody!

Sorry I'm late with the February 27th Cabin Award. We were in Bismarck last weekend, and it was all I could do to get the newsletter written, and keep up with website maintenance.

But, we'll get back on track with a Cabin Award today.

First, the winner of the Feb 27th award: Janet

Janet, I just sent you a message that includes a code to redeem the award. Please reply to promotions@dakotacabinquilts with your shipping information, and your bundle choice.

Janet is the lucky recipient of a DCQ Weekly Bundle, her choice from the in-stock selection. Click to see the possibilities.

The next Cabin Award will be posted Sunday, March 19th. More information to follow!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Indoor Gardening for Dummies

A few years ago, we were in the kitchen store in the Fargo mall.  I spied an aero garden, basically an indoor hydroponic growing system, and examined it with interest.

I told Wesley that I would like to buy one.  But, we were too busy that day to really check out the possibilities. 

I forgot about my comment.

He didn’t.

This year for Christmas, Matthew & Wesley carefully picked out three Aero Garden units.  One for Matthew, so he could grow catnip for his cats.  Two for me, a little one for herbs, and a big one for lettuce or tomato plants.

So far, our crops have been an outstanding success.  A couple of times a week, we harvest a delicious blend of lettuce, enough for two or three servings.  The catnip is growing like a weed. 

Wait, I think it is a weed.  But, Matthew is happy because his catnip plants are much taller than my herbs or my lettuce.

And, my little herb garden is flourishing.  Italian Parsley.  Genovese Basil.  And the Oregano was doing really good until the cats decided to eat it.  They must have discriminating palates… they haven’t touched the catnip plants but they are eating my oregano.

herbgarden herbgarden2

Last week, I harvested the herbs, and made four little cups of savory fresh herb butter, using a recipe from (here).  We’ve been enjoying it all week, on baked potatoes, French bread, whole grain toast… mmmm!


Herb Butter

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Mix together well.  Store in fridge.  Use the mini plastic Glad cups with lids to package the butter… they are the perfect size for a gift. 

In addition to the fresh parsley, I also added some fresh basil from my garden,  a few of the surviving oregano leaves.   I accidentally used crushed cayenne rather than crushed red pepper flakes (I thought they were the same thing).  The cayenne gave the butter a delicious spicy heat, but it might be too hot for some tastes.  Next time, I’ll try the red pepper flakes.

Does anybody else have an Aero Garden?  What are you growing~

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Next Cabin Award, Feb 27, 2011

The next Cabin Award will be announced in 2 weeks.

In celebration of the success of our weekly bundle promotion, that day’s winner will get to chose from any of the active bundles posted in the category.

Find the weekly bundle category: here.

A few tempting choices:

Five yards of Primitive Gatherings Tea-Dyed Muslins:

Hoffman Batik Fat Quarter Bundle and Fat Quarter Cut-Ups Pattern Book:

Two Moda Honey Buns and the book “Honey Buns” by Design Originals.

Please remember, weekly bundles are subject to availability, and can be removed at any time, depending upon our inventory.  So, if you want one of these bundles, it’s best to order now.

The Cabin Award winner will be offered their choice of a weekly bundle that is in-stock on the date of the award.

Happy Quilting!

Cabin Award Winner: February 13, 2011

As promised, another special prize this week.

But, first a warm welcome to all new blog Followers.  More readers are joining every day, and we’re delighted with the response. 

The only way I have to choose Cabin Award Winners is from the list of Blog Followers.  Click here for more information.

This week’s award: a Sunkissed project pack, including 3 patterns, assorted yardage, and a few zippers for the Pack & Go bags.  Total prize value, between $50-60.

View Sunkissed Patternssunkissedlogo

This week’s award goes to Lori.  I just sent you a message that includes a code to redeem the award. Please reply to promotions@dakotacabinquilts with your shipping information.

Happy Quilting!

Business File Tote… it helps if you read the pattern!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the Business File Tote pattern (find it here):


This is a great pattern.  With perfectly fine instructions.  If you read them :)

I started this handy tote on a Sunday afternoon.  With a deadline of having it done that evening, so Wesley could take it with him to his trunk show at the Black Hills Stock Show.

The steps are simple.  Make a handy side pocket:



Create an outer bag (the bag is boxy, but when I folded it flat for the photo, the corners look angled.  In “real life”, they are not angled, just square:


Create a nearly identical liner, with the SAME dimensions, except the BOTTOM seam is sewn at 1/4” rather than 1/2”.  This is where I didn’t read the instructions.  I sewed the side seams and the bottoms seams at 1/2” for the outer bag, and at 1/4” for the liner.

Assemble the bag, using a layer of canvas for interfacing.  I used a sturdy Pellon  that Wesley ordered for the floor mats. 

Oops.  My liner was 1/2” larger in all dimensions than my bag, and the Pellon was so sturdy that I could not ease in anything.  As a result, the faux binding that wraps around the upper edge was all lumpy, because the liner was just that much bigger than the outer bag.  The liner was supposed to be 1/2”  longer than the bag but the same width.

Crap.  Other bad words.

It was 10:30 pm. My bag was nearly done. Unfortunately, it looked like it had been sewn by a Third Grader.

Enter my husband with a seam ripper.  He ripped out the necessary seams, and by then it was nearly midnight.

We went to bed. 

Rose finished the bag, according to pattern instructions.  It is beautiful!


And useful.


Notice the matching file folders?  I used fun contemporary fabric from Michael Miller.  Find them here.  



The file folders sit in this little plastic frame, available at office stores or online.  Here’s the Amazon link.

Our employees made me feel much better.  They said I did a very nice job picking out the fabric, and matching the prints to my file folders!

I share this story with you, not to discourage you from making this project.  Just to state the obvious… it is very helpful to read the pattern instructions.

Happy Quilting! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Google Chrome

Have you heard of Google Chrome? 

I just discovered it, and I LOVE it.

A fast new internet browser (like Internet Explorer, or Firefox), but sooo much better!

Click here to learn about it.

Click here to install it.

Then, sit down at your computer with  a hot cup of coffee.  Turn off the phone.  Think about your favorite things,  and tools you need to make your life easier. 

Create a personalized iGoogle  home page, using your favorite theme (I chose “Spring Flowers”), a variety of fun apps and tools, and some useful gadgets. 

My tools? A calculator, a “To Do” list, a clock and a calendar.

My passions?  A quilt photo app, inspirational quotes, and beautiful photography.

Add some news, some weather, and a wikipedia search bar.  Perfect.

I particularly enjoyed the colorful labpixies options, found here.

The result?

My homepage:


Each one of the rectangles is like a little quilt block, you can rearrange them, stack them up (with the compound gadget), add and delete to your heart’s content. 

See that empty area bottom middle?  I can either rearrange the existing elements, or find new ones to fill in the space.


Try Google Chrome… It is fun, easy, and will transform the way you think about the internet.  I promise.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cabin Award Winner: January 30, 2011

As promised, a special prize this week:

The winner can choose one of these two quilt kits (with pattern, backing not included),

swpurejoy swpurelove

Pure Joy?  Pure Love?  Which one will you pick…

Congratulations to heaton!

The next Cabin Award will be announced Sunday February 13th, just in time for Valentines Day.   Again, a two week interval, and an extra special prize.

In celebration of the next Sweetwater collection, Sunkissed, you’ll get a project pack.  Three patterns:


And, enough fabric to make at least one item from each pattern.  About 3 yards, assorted. Plus a few zippers for the Pack & Go bags


Total prize value: between $50-60.

Click here for Sunkissed.

Remember, Cabin Award winners are randomly chosen from the list of Blog Followers.  Don’t miss your chance, sign up today.  Click on the “followers” link on the left sidebar to join.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Blog Follower?

Hi .  After today’s newsletter, I’ve had a couple of inquiries about how to become a blog follower. 

Here’s a very basic explanation of how to do this:

1.)  Look to the left column. Under "About our Family", you'll find a little button that says "Follow" with Google friend connect. Click on that button.

2.) You'll be taken to a page, where you are prompted to sign in, if you already have a twitter account, or a Google/Yahoo account.

3.) If you don't have such an account, there is a little area below that which says, "Create a New Google Account". Click on that, then enter your e-mail address, and a password. You don't enter any billing information, or much of anything personal, other than e-mail address and birthday... and you can certainly lie about your birthdate.

4.) A second page prompts you to create a screen name, and allows you to add an optional photo.

The end result... your screen name with optional photo shows up in the follower list.  I can randomly select you as a Cabin Award winner and send you an e-mail without knowing any of your personal information. It’s up to you whether you follow publically, or privately… but I recommend following publically otherwise your screen name is not visible for Cabin Awards.

It's a means of communicating by e-mail without your e-mail address being posted on the internet.

Hope this helps. Laura

Petite Gateau


“Petit Gâteau (in French, small cake; plural: Petits Gâteaux) is a dessert composed of a small chocolate cake with crunchy rind and mellow filling that is served hot with vanilla ice cream on a plate.

The dessert has been popularized in New York City restaurants in the 1990s. Nowadays variations of the cake/ice cream flavors have come to include fruits and even alcoholic beverages, such as whiskey This dessert has also been known to be made using crepes , in which case it is multiple crepes stacked on one another separated by some kind of filling such as warm jam or berries.”

Source: Wikipedia



Joanna Figueroa has captured the delicious goodness of these small cakes in a new pincushion pattern,  Fig Tree Threads, Petite Gateau (FTQ #728) .  Click here for pattern.

From the pattern cover:

"These are really good enough to eat! A perfect way to play with your favorite charm pack, these yummy little goodies are just irresistible as gifts or for a special treat for yourself. Simple to construct and quick to sew, these perfect little "cakes" are app. 3 1/2" when finished. Great project for your sewing group or for a gift exchange."

She also promises that most people can’t make just one!  Well, she’s sure right about that.

So far, I’m up to four pincushions. With no plans of stopping anytime soon.

The technique starts with two pieced pinwheels, and a strip of fabric for the gusset.


I like to cut my circles to size with the Olfa Rotary Circle cutter.  Find it here.  A very handy gadget… I use it a lot. It’s like a compass from a geometry set, with a sharp central point that secures into the cutting mat, a sliding adjustable ruler, and a sharp little rotary blade on the end.

pgb2 pgb3

Sewing involves a gusset technique.  Pattern instructions are excellent, with many useful tips. Gusset strip is marked according to instructions, then pinned in place.  When sewn, the project resembles a wrapped candy.

pgb4 pgb5

The pattern guides you through assembly, and a hole is left to allow stuffing.  I like to use walnut shells, carefully filling the pincushion with a funnel.

pgb6 pgb7

Then, using a tip I learned from Miss Rosie, I stuff a tiny amount of Sweet Dreams stuffing into the hole, so the walnut shells don’t fall out as I stitch.


Almost done.  Just needs “icing on the cake”: covered buttons to give a finished look.


Dritz Covered Button Kits: found here.   I used the 7/8” size.

To make each covered button, you’ll use 5 items, from left to right, a plastic tool, the button back, a fabric circle (cut to size with the Olfa Rotary Circle Cutter, above), the button front, and a pusher.


Set the fabric circle, right side down, centered across the plastic tool.  Then, set the button front in the middle, and push.


The front slips inside the tool, and the fabric wraps around it. 


Then, the button back is set on top.


Then, push with the pusher until button back snaps into position. 

Tada!  A perfectly covered fabric button.  It only takes a few seconds. 


My finished Petite Gateau pincushions.  Don’t you just love them?

pgb17 pgb16

The kittens started the project by being helpful (you know… lying on top of the sewing table, playing with thread, carrying buttons away then batting them around… the usual).  But it was all too much for them, and they finished the afternoon with a nap.





Helping in the sewing room is hard work!

Happy quilting!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cabin Awards Jan 16, 2011

As promised, two winners this week: packets include Quiltsmart Cell Phone pre-printed fusible interfacing, and three fabrics from my stash for their bags.



The next Cabin Award will be announced Sunday January 30th.  I’m leaving a two week interval, so people who haven’t signed up as followers yet will have time to do so.

The prize?  A really good one, I think.

The winner can choose one of these two quilt kits (with pattern, backing not included):


Both “Pure Joy” (value with pattern $62.00) and “Pure Love”  (value with pattern $58.00) feature the new “Pure” collection by Sweetwater.  Both quilts would make lovely unisex baby gifts, and could easily be enlarged to make lovely throws (consider purchasing 2 kits with a single pattern).


















I love, love, love this collection!  My stitching fingers start to itch every-time I walk past it at the shop, or work on that page on our website.

Click here to check it out.

Remember, Cabin Award winners are randomly chosen from the list of Blog Followers.  Don’t miss your chance, sign up today.  Click on the “followers” link on the left sidebar to join.